November 25, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

PSE index slips despite strong Wilcon debut

LOCAL equities finished a strong quarter with a whimper, as all eyes were on the stock market debut of Wilcon Depot, Inc., the first listing for the year.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 20.87 points or 0.29% to close at 7,311.72 on Friday, but managed to post a gain of 0.58% for the week.

So far, the bellwether index has seen a strong start to 2017, ending the first three months of the year up 6.9%.

The wider all-shares index shed 11.94 points or 0.27% to end at 4,399.71.

“There was not much story today. Investors were mainly focusing on Wilcon. They just wanted to see how the investor community will respond to the first IPO this year,” Victor F. Felix, equity analyst at AB Capital Securities, Inc., said in a telephone interview.

Wilcon was the day’s most actively traded stock, contributing about one-eighth to the total daily value turnover. Shares of the home improvement and construction supply retailer jumped 28 centavos or 5.54% to settle at P5.33 per share.

“Philippine markets closed the quarter on a weak note on the last trading day of March after news that US economic growth slowed at a slower than previously reported rate in the fourth quarter,” Luis A. Limlingan, business development head at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a mobile phone message.

The US gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at an annualized rate of 2.1% instead of the previously reported 1.9%, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The pace was also slower than the 2.5% uptick in the third quarter.

Most counters were in the red led by property, which lost 33.67 points or 1.07% to 3,125.93.

Holding firms declined 44.51 points or 0.59% to 7,449.51; mining and oil went down 56.08 points or 0.47% to 11,972.21; financials slid 3.73 points or 0.20% to 1,820.56; and industrial slipped 13.19 points or 0.12% to 10,948.44.

Services was the only counter in the green, which climbed 20.20 points or 1.32% to 1,552.15.

Value turnover accelerated to P9.18 billion as 1.01 billion shares changed hands, from P7.64 billion on Thursday.

Decliners beat advancers, 102 to 86, while 42 shares closed flat.